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Susan MacKay

Susan McKay

Susan MacKay is an attorney with The Gary Law Group, a law firm based in Portland, Ore., that focuses on legal issues facing manufacturers of windows and doors. She can be reached at 503/620-6615 or susan@prgarylaw.com.

Force Majeure Clauses: The Basics

A force majeure (French for superior force) clause allows parties to alter their obligations in times of crises. The clause relieves the affected party from liability for not fulfilling its contractual obligations when unforeseen circumstances beyond that party’s control happen. Force majeure…

Warranties Requiring Specific Parts or Service

Windows, doors and skylights sometimes fall under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act’s definition of consumer goods, and other times they do not. Magnuson-Moss is a federal statutory scheme that mandates certain requirements for written warranties. It provides, in part, that the “warrantor” (party…

Energy Star Reform Act

In the recent months, there have been several opportunities for Energy Star partners to have their voices heard. In May of 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency invited public comment on existing regulations pursuant to Executive Order 13777, Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agency. In October…

What’s in a Lifetime?

The duration of a manufacturer warranty is generally defined either as lifetime or a period of time (e.g. a 10-year warranty). Have you ever stopped to consider what “Lifetime Warranty” means? Lifetime of what? Is lifetime measured by the life of the product, of the person owning the product, or…

4 Tips for Better Communication

Every now and then, a situation arises where there is an issue with a window or door that is not covered by the product warranty, but the manufacturer determines it should give a little extra to resolve the issue. Where that occurs, manufacturers may decide to go ahead and offer to fix the issue…

7 Considerations for Drafting a Noncompete Agreement

While not new, noncompete agreements remain a source of dispute because both the workforce and terms within the agreement are continuously evolving. 

The Copyright Conundrum and Fair Use

Many current building codes incorporate AAMA or ASTM standards into the code sections relating to windows and doors. For example, the 2009 IRC Section R612.3 states that windows with fall prevention devices and window guards “shall comply with the requirements of ASTM F 2090.” But the ASTM…

Full Versus Limited Warranties

Have you ever wondered why so many manufacturers include the word “limited” in the title of their warranty? This is thanks go to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a federal statutory scheme that requires warranties for consumer goods to be designated as either “full” or “limited.” It is more common…

Certification Update

With the ability to receive more extensions also comes heightened concern regarding a manufacturer’s potential liability. Below are a few examples of ways to manage potential liability. Record Retention  A manufacturer should maintain documentation from the original certification up through the…